Cybersecurity

April 9, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
A communications tower for military 5G rises above a forest. Several challenges loom as the U.S. Defense Department strives to implement 5G into the force. Credit: M.Moira/Shutterstock

The revolutionary advantages offered by defense use of 5G technology could be undone if the United States doesn’t begin now to meet and overcome a set of challenges, said an expert from the National Security Agency (NSA). These challenges range from developing effective security measures to ensuring the supply chain is not contaminated by parts made by foreign adversaries.

April 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
Lt. Col. Brian Wong, USA, chief of market research for the Army’s Network Cross Functional Team (c), assesses the waveform strength of several mobile ad hoc network radio signals during a Rapid Innovation Fund capstone event in 2019 in Yakima, Washington. Engineers at Johns Hopkins’ Applied Research Lab are looking into how to build a large scale network of intelligent radios, among other tactical communications efforts.    USA/PEO C3T Public Affairs

Software-defined networks, commercial satellite communications, cognitive electronic warfare, intelligent radios and artificial intelligence applications all potentially offer the military advanced capabilities for the tactical environment, say Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL’s) Julia Andrusenko, chief engineer, Tactical Wireless Systems Group, and Mark Simkins, program manager, Resilient Tactical Communications Networks. 

April 1, 2021
By Matt Toth and Richard Chitamitre
Training sessions, such as Cyber Shield 19, provide cybersecurity analysts opportunities to train, exchange best practices and test their cyber mettle. Credit: Army Staff Sgt. George B. Davis

The nature of military permanent change of station assignments can create gaps in the U.S. Defense Department’s protected posture to cyber assets. The current approach allows valuable institutional knowledge literally to walk out the door, often being replaced with inadequately prepared personnel walking in. This practice runs contrary to the Pentagon’s stated strategic goals that aim at building and maintaining a skilled workforce rather than solely acquiring new tools.

April 1, 2021
By Miroslav Nečas
The NATO Ministers of Defence meet in February to prepare for its summit later this year. Among the topics socially distanced attendees discussed were progress on burden sharing and missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Credit: NATO

NATO is at risk of losing its technology edge because of emerging and disruptive technologies increasingly developed within the civil sector. The growth of peer competitors’ determination, especially China, and the decline of technology education in Western countries are eroding the advantage they once skillfully held.

To address this state of affairs, the organization’s defense ministers are examining a number of activities. As a part of this initiative, the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) conducted a study to provide the industry view of the implications of emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs) and Chinese advances in defense operations and military capability development.

March 1, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: DHS

The entire nation must engage in an informed debate about cybersecurity and how to stop the damage being inflicted by adversaries through cyberspace, says the director of intelligence for the U.S. Cyber Command. Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci, USAF, J-2 for the U.S. Cyber Command, says this debate must explore whether the roles played in cyber defense stay the way they are or change.

February 9, 2021
 

The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a $10,579,798 modification (P00004) to contract W58RGZ19F0045 to integrate, test, upgrade and field functional hardware and software technology improvements and cybersecurity controls, to the Longbow Crew Trainer Generation Four and Generation Five fleets. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, with an estimated completion date of April 2, 2022. Fiscal year 2019 aircraft procurement (Army) funds in the amount of $10,579,798 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

February 11, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
Stacy Bostjanick (r), director of CMMC, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (A&S), warns of CMMC certification companies that are not themselves certified in a discussion at AFCEA NOVA Intelligence Community IT Day.

Companies preparing for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) should beware of firms that are promising to get them certified, said a government official. Stacy Bostjanick, director of CMMC, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (A&S), stated that any firms claiming to be able to do that are not capable of that function yet.

February 2, 2021
 

Cyber Systems and Services Solutions, Bellevue, Nebraska, has been awarded a $17,765,741 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P0010) to contract FA8773-18-D-0002 to exercise Option Three for defensive cyber realization, integration and operational support services. Work will be performed at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA)-Lackland, Texas, and is expected to be completed February 28, 2022.  This modification is the result of a competitive acquisition and seven offers were received. Fiscal 2021 operation and maintenance funds in the amount of $8,764,731 are being obligated at the time of award. The 38th Contracting Squadron, JBSA-Lackland, Texas, is the contracting activity.

February 2, 2021
By Robert K. Ackerman
China owes much of its economic growth to technologies purloined from the United States via cyber espionage. Credit: Sangoiri/Shutterstock

The greatest threat the United States faces is through cyber attacks on economic targets, and the worst adversary in this realm is China, according to the director of intelligence for the U.S. Cyber Command. Brig. Gen. Matteo Martemucci, USAF, J-2 for the Cyber Command, declared that China’s pilferage of intellectual property represents a major strike against the United States as part of the Middle Kingdom’s plan for global domination.

February 2, 2021
 

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., McLean, Virginia, has been awarded a $21,744,548 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00032) to contract FA8750-17-F-0105 for enterprise exploitation and information assurance. This contract modification provides for additional hours to facilitate development of electro-optical emerging data sources as part of the Assured Cyber Enterprise for the Intelligence Community Program.  Work will be performed in McLean, Virginia, and is expected to be completed September 28, 2021. Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $74,381 are being obligated at the time of award.

January 29, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
The FBI is examining how zero trust architecture could apply to its cybersecurity measures. Credit: Shutterstock/Kristi Blokhin

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a unique role as a federal law enforcement agency as well as a national security department. Its vast information technology enterprise must support its functionality in carrying out these roles, which have different rules of engagement. And when adding new tools, processes or software, the bureau has to consider solutions carefully. With zero trust architecture—a method that combines user authentication, authorization and monitoring; visibility and analytics; automation and orchestration; end user device activity; applications and workload; network and other infrastructure measures; and data tenants to provide more advanced cybersecurity—gaining use in the U.S.

January 22, 2021
By Maryann Lawlor
While many cybersecurity recommendations have focused on the activities of the federal government, AFCEA Cyber Committee members recognize the role of state and local authorities in information security. Credit: Shutterstock/ESB Professional

The cybersecurity of civil government, critical infrastructure and business infrastructure remains uneven. Worrying reports of ransomware affecting city and county governments as well as local health care organizations have put leaders and administrators, and infrastructure operators on edge.

January 14, 2021
By Julianne Simpson
The future enterprise will be edge-centric, cloud enabled and data driven, says Bill Burnham, CTO, U.S. Public Sector Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The future enterprise will be edge-centric, cloud enabled and data driven, said Bill Burnham, CTO, U.S. Public Sector Business Unit, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

He shared his ideas during an AFCEA online event titled “The Edge Is Where the Action Is!”

January 6, 2021
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Credit: Shutterstock/Aleksandar Malivuk

The Defense Digital Service (DDS) and HackerOne announced the launch of the DDS’s latest bug bounty program with HackerOne. It is the eleventh such program for DDS and HackerOne and the third with the U.S. Department of the Army.

Hack the Army 3.0 is a security test— time-bound and hacker-powered—aimed at revealing vulnerabilities so they can be resolved before they are exploited by adversaries. The bug bounty program will run from January 6, 2021, through February 17, 2021, and is open to both military and civilian participants.

January 1, 2021
By Kimberly Underwood
When the GAO performs cybersecurity-related audits and reports its findings, the watchdog provides key recommendations to agencies to improve their networks and information technology from risks. The GAO also follows up to see how an agency implemented those recommendations. Credit: Illustration by Chris D’Elia based on images from GAO Reports and lurri Motov/Shutterstock

It is no secret that the U.S. government is grappling with cybersecurity issues across its organizations and agencies. The good news is that the government has an auditing agency that investigates possible weaknesses or cybersecurity gaps and makes key recommendations to rectify problems: the U.S. Government Accountability Office, known as GAO.

January 1, 2021
By M.D. Miller
When people around the world are communicating, they must use precise terms to ensure they are referring to the same topics, problems, results and solutions. Credit: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

Emerging technology, state actors such as Russia and China, and nonstate actors including ISIS, are often quoted as some of the greatest threats to computer and network security. But before the United States can engage with these threats effectively, the war against words must take place.

One place to start is by eliminating the word “cyber” as a descriptor. The term has been used and overused, manipulated and exploited so many times and in so many places, it has become meaningless. What individuals or organizations mean or want when they use it is impossible to say. It’s time to scrap the word altogether and instead specify technical concepts at a more granular level.

December 23, 2020
By Harvey Boulter
Shutterstock/Thitichaya Yajampa

Experts have issued fresh warnings to U.S. citizens over the enormous amount of sensitive, personal information being routinely captured and commoditized, and that this same information is being weaponized by the country’s adversaries. A panel at the recent AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference highlighted that data gathering by Facebook, WhatsApp and Google presents a significant risk to both individuals and the nation.

December 2, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: metamorworks/Shutterstock

Innovative ideas may hold the key to thwarting cyber adversaries emboldened by opportunities offered in the COVID-19 pandemic. And, the source of these innovative approaches may be diverse personnel who break the mold of conventional cybersecurity professionals.

December 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/Niyazz

The Defense Department’s new cybersecurity maturity model certification (CMMC) coincidentally took effect on the first day of TechNet Cyber, AFCEA’s virtual event being held December 1-3. Leading officials with the Defense Department, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and industry discussed what its implementation will mean to the defense industrial base (DIB) and the community as a whole.

November 17, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Credit: Shutterstock/VideoFlow

Adversaries are stepping up their efforts to exfiltrate information and weaken the U.S. supply chain through cyberspace. These efforts aim to both wreck the country from within and strengthen the hand of the adversary wielding the digital sword, according to a U.S. government official.

New government security measures are designed with these challenges in mind, and they can help secure targeted small businesses. The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), which is rolling out, is designed to help mitigate the effects of adversarial activities in cyberspace.

November 13, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
The United States is preparing to enter a period when its infrastructure goes beyond being connected to or depending on cyberspace but instead will reside in cyberspace. Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

U.S. data protection and its relationship to national interests are swiftly evolving. One reason this trend will continue, cybersecurity specialists say, is that other nations see cyberspace differently than the United States and other democracies. Rather than incorporating technology into their societies as a tool, they use cybersecurity—both offensively and defensively—to support their different views and overall significantly challenge U.S. interests.

October 22, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Katie Arrington, chief information security officer for Acquisition and Sustainment, U.S. Department of Defense, says there’s no point in developing software if it’s not secure, during a webinar on securing the federal software supply chain.

Anyone moving through the ecosystem of software development and cyber over the last few decades has heard cool words to describe it: Waterfall, Cobalt, Agile, DevOps and now DevSecOps.

DevSecOps may be the latest term but the idea behind it remains constant: Security should be a priority from the start.

October 1, 2020
By Robert Hoffman
Marines with Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command work in the cyber operations center at Lasswell Hall, Fort Meade, Maryland. MARFORCYBER Marines conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations in support of U.S. Cyber Command and operate, secure and defend the Marine Corps Enterprise Network. Credit: Staff Sgt. Jacob Osborne, USMC

Automation software tools are being under-utilized, especially in the U.S. Defense Department. While the department has purchased and used automated scanning tools for security and compliance, it has been slow to adopt automation for many other tasks that would benefit from the capability, such as easing software deployment and standardization and, once developed, increasing the speed of overall automation.

October 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
As the deadly COVID-19 virus spread around the world, so did the attacks from malicious cyber actors, taking advantage of the unsure times, say experts from leading cybersecurity firms. Credit: Shutterstock/VK Studio

While the world was facing the rapid and deadly spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, most commonly known as COVID-19, malicious cyber attackers were also at work, increasing the number of attacks, switching methods, taking advantage of the boom in Internet, network and email users, and playing on fears during the uncertain time, cybersecurity experts say. Companies struggling to maintain operations are still leaving gaps in digital security, they warn.

October 13, 2020
By Julianne Simpson
Credit: SailPoint

Many agencies today lack a way to effectively and securely govern access across multicloud environments. Though the use of multiple cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure and Google give agencies the freedom to match the requirements of each use case to the unique strengths of each cloud platform, it also leaves businesses vulnerable to the risks and costs of noncompliance, cyber attacks and human error.

Lack of governance can also stifle productivity and growth—if users can’t get the access they need when they need it, work doesn’t get done. Managing who has access to what and with which privileges is a major challenge in the cloud due to rapid change and its large scale.

October 1, 2020
By Joseph Mitola III
Senior Airman Daniel M. Davis, USAF, 9th Communications Squadron information system security officer, looks at a computer in the cybersecurity office on Beale Air Force Base. Cybersecurity airmen must manage more than 1,100 controls to maintain the risk management framework. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Jason W. Cochran

Users need to transition all networked computing from the commercial central processing unit addiction to pure dataflow for architecturally safe voting machines, online banking, websites, electric power grids, tactical radios and nuclear bombs. Systems engineering pure dataflow into communications and electronic systems can protect them. The solutions to this challenge are in the users’ hands but are slipping through their fingers. Instead, they should grab the opportunity to zeroize network attack surfaces.

October 1, 2020
By Dirk W. Olliges
Leslie Bryant, civilian personnel office staffing chief, demonstrates how to give fingerprints to Jayme Alexander, Airmen and Family Readiness Center casualty assistance representative selectee. Although requiring fingerprints to access information is better than single-factor identification verification, it should be part of a multifactor authentication approach. Credit: 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson, USAF

The two-factor authentication schema is often heralded as the silver bullet to safeguard online accounts and the way forward to relegate authentication attacks to the history books. However, news reports of a phishing attack targeting authentication data, defeating the benefits of the protection method, have weakened confidence in the approach. Furthermore, hackers have targeted account recovery systems to reset account settings, yet again mitigating its effectiveness. Facilitating additional layers of security is crucial to bolstering user account protection and privacy today and into the future.

September 25, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Enterprisewide Risk Management (ERM) consists of the formal identification of major risks to the organization’s mission.

Cybersecurity is now a significant area of focus and concern for senior leaders who have witnessed cyber events that have resulted in significant financial and reputational damage. However, for many organizations, data defense continues to be a technology-focused effort managed by the technical “wizards.” Board of director discussions often zero in on describing the latest cyber threats rather than taking a long-range approach.

But cybersecurity is more than a technical challenge. Enterprise risk management (ERM) is an effective tool to assess risks, including those with cyber origins, but few businesses or agencies use the technique for this purpose, cyber experts assert.

September 16, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Bryan Ware (top l) and Jeff Reed (bottom) discussed some of the global shifts in cybersecurity requirements. The two shared their observations during a panel moderated by Jon Check, cyber protection solutions, intelligence and space unit, Raytheon, during the Billington Cybersecurity Summit.

COVID-19 has done more than increase hand-washing and mask-wearing. It has meant an entirely new way of communicating and collaborating. Those on the front lines say some of these changes are here to stay and will last much longer than the pandemic simply because they are more efficient ways to do business.

September 9, 2020
By Shaun Waterman
A GPS III satellite circles the earth. Photo Credit: United States Government, GPS.Gov

​​On both sides of the Atlantic, NATO and European leaders are struggling to address the threat posed to vital space systems by foreign hackers, cyber warfare and online espionage. Huge swathes of the global economy are utterly dependent on orbital capabilities like GPS that look increasingly fragile as space becomes more crowded and contested.

August 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman

The COVID-19 pandemic brings with it a new set of cyber vulnerabilities built around lifestyle changes throughout society, and these vulnerabilities cry out for new means of cyber resiliency. “It’s quite possible that historians will remember COVID-19 as one of the very important civilizational turning points,” says Alexander Kott, chief scientist of the Army Research Laboratory and Army ST for cyber resilience. “COVID-19 is acting as a forcing function. It forces us to accelerate the transition to a more virtual society than we were before, and it is accelerating the trend that was occurring before COVID-19 but was happening more slowly and less noticeably.”

July 21, 2020
 

Enterprise modernization of the Navy's networks and systems is finally underway. Set to impact hundreds of thousands of uniformed and civilian users, it will consolidate many outsourced network service delivery mechanisms across the entire Department of the Navy (DON). The initiative aims to transform how services are delivered, provide a dramatically improved end user experience, and enable critical innovations long needed to accelerate the DON’s mission.

July 20, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
Vince Urias, Sandia National Laboratories computer scientist, will pitch cybersecurity tools to potential investors at a special Department of Energy event. Photo by Randy Montoya

Two Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists are earning national recognition for cybersecurity platforms they developed. Adrian Chavez and Vince Urias will pitch their software to investors, entrepreneurs and prospective customers during the Cybersecurity Technology Virtual Showcase, which runs July 21-30 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Combined, Chavez and Urias led the creation of four of the technologies to be showcased.

July 15, 2020
By George I. Seffers
U.S. Defense Department officials intend to complete an initial zero trust architecture by year's end to improve cybersecurity, according to Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director, Defense Information Systems Agency.

The U.S. Defense Department by the end of the calendar year will release an initial zero trust architecture to improve cybersecurity across the department, says Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, USN, director, Defense Information Systems Agency, and commander, Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network.

Norton’s agency, commonly known as DISA, is working with the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense (DOD) chief information officer and others on what she calls an initial “reference” architecture for zero trust, which essentially ensures every person wanting to use the DOD Information Network, or DODIN, is identified and every device trying to connect is authenticated.

July 14, 2020
By George I. Seffers
Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, the Army's soon-to-retire CIO/G-6, attends a working lunch during the Joint Warfighting Assessment on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., May 1, 2019. The CIO said during the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference hosted by AFCEA that the time is right for the service to split the CIO and G-6 offices. Credit: Sgt. Torrance Saunders

The U.S. Army’s near future will include an increased focus on adopting “zero trust” cybersecurity practices, better protecting its network endpoints and consolidating its plethora of cloud computing contracts, according to Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, the Army’s outgoing CIO/G-6. It also will likely include tightening defense budgets.

The general indicated during a keynote address for the Army’s virtual 2020 Signal Conference, which is hosted by AFCEA, that the 2021 fiscal year “is going to be all about driving on priorities.”

July 14, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Put simply, zero trust architecture (ZTA) is a "standard security door, and it’s a door that we can put in front of any application on our networks,” says Col. James Lotspeich, USAF, chief technology officer, Air Combat Command (ACC), Directorate of Cyberspace and Information Dominance (A6). The ACC is pursuing two ZTA pilot programs to improve cybersecurity. Credit: Shutterstock/Gomolach

The U.S. Air Force is experimenting with a zero trust strategy to provide additional digital protections. Zero trust architecture offers a higher level of cybersecurity, through limited per-session access, continuous monitoring, endpoint security and monitoring of network conversations, explained Col. James Lotspeich, USAF, chief technology officer, Air Combat Command (ACC), Directorate of Cyberspace and Information Dominance (A6).

Col. Lotspeich spoke about the ACC’s zero trust architecture efforts during AFCEA Tidewater’s July 2 virtual luncheon.

July 1, 2020
By Allison Annick
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Grace Hopper remained in the naval reserve. In 1952, her team at Remington Rand created the first compiler for computer languages, which was a precursor for COBOL. In this 1960 report, Hopper stands next to a mainframe computer that ran using COBOL. Courtesy of the Computer History Museum

At 61 years old, the common business-oriented language is the same age as many college kids’ parents. The coding language had its own exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 2013. Many in the industry now call it a “legacy language,” but its continued, widespread use tells a different story.

July 1, 2020
By Stephen Wood
Devices such as copiers have been updated with Internet connectivity, creating a potential risk as an entry point to the network. Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

In the past two years, hackers have increasingly targeted Internet of Things devices to breach cybersecurity defenses. Because these devices are frequently not patched when software flaws are found, they represent a soft target for attackers. In 2017, 15 percent of all successful attacks exploited one of these device’s beachheads. By 2019, that number increased to 26 percent of all incidents with growth expected to continue, according to a recent analysis performed by Ponemon Institute.

July 1, 2020
By Capt. Alex M. Roberts, USAF
U.S. Marines with 8th Communication Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, collaborate as part of Team Spartan during Cyber Fury 2020. Cyber Fury is an annual training exercise that allows Marines to simulate a series of cyberspace attacks by identifying and countering them. Credit: Lance Cpl. Haley McMenamin, USMC

With the 2020 election fast approaching and tensions with Iran continually shifting, many people are looking to U.S. Cyber Command to help ensure cybersecurity. The command faces an uphill battle because the current construct allows each service branch to retain tactical command of its organic cyber experts. To be more successful in the cyberspace domain, the command needs to take over tasking authority for all cyber-related units, establish a standardized joint cyber schoolhouse and establish a Joint Cyber Operations Command to perform joint, effects-driven cyber operations.

June 25, 2020
 

ASIRTek Federal Services LLC, San Antonio, Texas, has been awarded a $78,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for information security support services.  This contract provides for proactive support of the foundational pillars of this requirement, which are cybersecurity improvement initiatives and cybersecurity support. Work will be performed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Additional on-site support locations may include Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Robins Air Force Base, Georgia; Tyndall AFB, Florida; Randolph AFB, Texas; and Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.  Work is expected to be completed June 28, 2025. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with 24 offers received.

June 12, 2020
 

ICF Inc. LLC, Fairfax, Virginia, was awarded a $13,444,607 modification (P00036) to contract W911QX-17-C-0018 to extend mission critical defense cyber operation services provided by ICF. Work will be performed in Adelphi, Columbia, Fort Meade, and Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; San Antonio, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado, with an estimated completion date of December 15, 2020. Fiscal year 2020 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $13,444,607 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

June 1, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
It’s tempting to think of open source software as free, but users must take into consideration the cost of systems and data protection. Credit: Wright Studio/Shutterstock

The efficiencies of using and embedding open source software (OSS) carry many risks. In the advent of free repositories and millions of open source projects, the notion of any reasonable centralized authentication about the origin or any assurance as to correctness is virtually impossible. As a result, users should cultivate trust relationships with a few suppliers and keep them up to date.

August 16, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A Louisiana Army National Guard chief communications plans officer trains members of the Cyber Defense Incident Response Team to defend the state’s cyber assets in November 2015. Photo courtesy DOD

Information technology modernization has reached a precipice within the federal government as agencies struggle to manage many moving parts and jockey for the same pot of money and talent. Add to the fray the results of a new survey showing an alarming reliance by federal agencies on outdated information technology systems.

May 19, 2020
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Credit: Shutterstock/Pogorelova Olga

The Space Force has announced that the planned satellite hacking challenge known as Space Security Challenge 2020: Hack-A-Sat would proceed as planned, but in a virtual format due to the pandemic. The Department of the Air Force and the Defense Digital Service's (DDS's) event includes an online qualification event May 22-24, followed by a final August 7-9. During the final, participants will attempt to reverse-engineer representative ground-based and on-orbit satellite system components to overcome planted “flags” or software code.

May 11, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Katie Arrington (r), chief information security officer, office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, U.S. Defense Department, and other Pentagon acquisition officials brief reporters on cybersecurity standards for government. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee, USN

The coronavirus is not stopping the U.S. Defense Department from proceeding with work on the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), and it shouldn’t slow down industry in doing the same. Although some of the public hearings that should have taken place by now have been delayed because of the pandemic, the CMMC team continues to train and get the word out about rules changes.

May 11, 2020
 

ForAllSecure, a NEA portfolio company, announced that is will provide the Defense Department with a next-generation fuzzing solution under a $45 million contract with the Defense Innovation Unit. The company's software security product, known as Mayhem, will be used by several DOD entitieservices branches, including: the Air Force 96th Cyberspace Test Group, the Air Force 90th Cyberspace Operations Squadron, the Naval Sea Systems Command and the U.S. Army Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center, according to the company. The product, which automatically finds software vulnerabilities, is a patented next-generation solution developed at Carnegie Mellon University.

May 1, 2020
By Robert K. Ackerman
Members of the NATO Military Committee are briefed at the NATO Joint Warfare Centre in Norway. The Atlantic alliance is broadening its activities in cybersecurity amid more diverse threats and growing new technologies. Credit: NATO

NATO is doubling down on cyberspace defense with increased partnerships and new technology thrusts. Information exchanges on threats and solutions, coupled with research into exotic capabilities such as artificial intelligence, are part of alliance efforts to secure its own networks and aid allies in the cybersecurity fight.

The threats the alliance networks face constitute relatively the same ones confronting other organizations. NATO faces the double challenge of securing its own networks and information assets, as well as helping its member nations improve their own national cyber resilience.

May 1, 2020
By Shaun Waterman
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the first of the new generation of modernized, harder-to-hack GPS block III satellites in December 2018. GPS is one of the space-based functions that’s increasingly vital to the functioning of the U.S. economy. Credit: GPS.gov

Amid growing fears that U.S. military reliance on civilian space infrastructure might prove a weak point, two organizations are seeking to improve cybersecurity in the burgeoning satellite industry. The Orbital Security Alliance has published a detailed set of cybersecurity guidelines for commercial satellite operators, which aims specifically at smaller, newer companies in the fast-growing “minisat” sector.

April 23, 2019
By Robert K. Ackerman
Ty Schieber, chair, CMMC Accreditation Body, promises to post "a tremendous amount of information" on his office's website over the next couple of days, while speaking at the AFCEA Virtual CCMC Symposium.

The success of the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) will hinge largely on diverse types of contractors sharing information and following security standards, said a panel of experts exploring CMMC ramifications. Speaking at AFCEA’s Virtual CMMC Symposium, the government officials emphasized that the CMMC will be both an opportunity and an obligation to the defense community

May 1, 2020
By Kimberly Underwood
Through four use cases, including one that applies to street light operations, the city of Syracuse, New York, is evaluating a secure cloud architecture designed to provide cyber attack protections. Credit: Shutterstock/Debra Millet

Digital structures are needed to protect government information and operations. A group participating in a National Institute of Standards of Technology challenge is offering a secure cloud-based platform that can improve the digital and actual health of a city and protect its information.